Do you wonder if there is a relationship between your intake of salt and weight gain? There is so much about salt (sodium) that you really do not know.
One of them is how it affects your weight.
A Client’s Experience With Salt And Weight Gain
Someone called in one day expressing frustration about all she had tried that did not work.
She needs to lose some kilograms, but she was not sure of what was causing her weight gain.
First, we asked for her daily meal. She sends all she eats daily and we saw few things that could make a person add weight, but not as much as she had accumulated.
The situation becomes a concern. We asked that she gives us a breakdown of the quantity of salt she adds to her meal daily.
She sends the figures in, and in those figures, the truth hides.
Consistently, she exceeds her daily salt intake and this is a major cause of her trouble.
Indeed, salt is a good thing to add to your meal. But you may be abusing the use of this mineral that makes food delicious.
There are different ways that salt come into your meal and some of them are alien to you.
To understand how much salt you consume, here is what you should do.
First, identify the daily quantity of salt that health organisations recommends.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows that there are recommendations for adults and children.
For adults, the World Health Organisation recommends that adults consume less than 5 grams of salt daily. That is just less than a teaspoon.
On the other hand, children aged 2 to 15 are to take a smaller amount based on their energy requirements relative to those of adults.
Unfortunately most adults do not follow this requirement.
Unfortunately, there is a consequence for not following this recommendation.
One of them is that it exposes the individual to health issues.
Recently, researchers have also found some things about salt and weight gain.
Salt And Weight Gain
In 2014, a study of 418 adults (196 men and 222 women) aged 18 to 60 years old made an interesting discovery.
In the study, weight, height and waist circumference were measured while Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist/height ratio were calculated.
Dietary intake was estimated using a “24 hours recalls”, for two consecutive days, and sodium content was determined from 24 hours urine sample.
At the end, the report showed that 34.4% of the population had overweight and 13.6% had obesity.
Also, the research revealed a positive association between BMI and urinary sodium concentration.
According to the research, there is a positive association between urine sodium values and other adiposity indicators such as waist circumference and waist/height ratio.
Body weight, BMI, waist circumference, and waist/height ratio were higher in the group of individuals with a higher urinary sodium excretion (1).
“Additionally, individuals placed in this group presented a higher caloric intake and total food intake, in particular, more meat, processed food and snacks.
“Adjusting by energy intake, a higher sodium intake was a risk factor of being overweight or obese.”
Salt And Water Retention
Another study highlights that excessive salt intake increases urine osmolyte excretion, but reduced free-water clearance.
This highlights the issue of water retention in the body, which in turn results in weight gain (2).
Also, excessive salt intake will affect the amount of water that you drink per day.
This is because fluids in your body are not excreted because of retention.
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With the fluid retention, it adds to body mass, increasing the individual’s weight.
High Blood Pressure And Excessive Salt Intake
Unfortunately, the issue with salt and weight gain is not just about weight. Beyond the weight are other health issues.
According to a study, excessive intake of salt can increase blood pressure (3).
This is related to water retention and other issues which the research identified.
For instance, there are some changes in the structure and function of large elastic arteries that come with excessive salt intake.
For this reason, the World Health Organisation recommends that you should cut down salt intake.
How To Reduce Salt Intake
If you will love to heed to this advice, here are things to do.
Don’t add salt during preparation of food.
Check your seasoning – Most cubes contain at least 40% salt.
Choose products with lower sodium content.
Remove all salt shaker on your table – If you have them there, you will surely shake some salt into your meal.
Limit consumption of salty snacks.
Use healthier salts that are in their natural state, like sea salt.
If you find this helpful, please, share with your friends and loved ones.